How to Get Booked to Speak at High Schools

White wooden book shelf in library.jpg

Getting the opportunity to speak at a high school can be rewarding as well as career-building, but is not always the easiest thing to arrange. Contacting the school administration, or even different teachers, is usually a good place to start. Depending on your skills and experience, you may also be able to make a request with a school district or governing board. Many appearances are on a voluntary basis as schools continue to cut budgets. However, if you have a book to promote or some other type of product that you are selling, you might be permitted to operate a sale table after your talk.

1 Find the school's contact information

Find the school's contact information. Most schools have a website with a phone number, or are listed in the yellow pages.

2 Call the main number listed

Call the main number listed. Ask to be put into contact with person in charge of booking speaking arrangements.

3 Explain you

Explain who you are and what your speech topic would be about. The contact person might ask for a resume, reference, or other credentials, so be sure to have this information handy.

4 Contact a teacher or administrator

Contact a teacher or administrator directly if your initial efforts are not successful at first. Look for classes similar in subject area to the talk you wish to give. Teachers are always looking for opportunities to bring the real world into the classroom, and many will be an advocate for you if they feel that your information and expertise are worthy of sharing with their students.

5 Contact a member

Contact a member of the school board or the larger school district if you are still having trouble. This sort of contact is usually best conducted in writing: outline who you are, why you wish to speak, and what you propose to speak about. Be sure to provide your contact information, and ask for a follow-up.

  • Make sure that any speech you give is appropriate, engaging, and relevant to a high school audience. Inappropriate speeches could damage your reputation in the community.
  • A good school to start with would be your own high school. Administrators and staff appreciate alumni insights and involvement.
  • After the speech, make sure to send a thank-you note to whoever helped secure the speaking arrangement. This gesture will help cultivate a reference that could lead to more speaking arrangements.

Shawndra Russell started freelancing professionally for several outlets in 2010, covering arts and entertainment, culture and society, health and fitness, sports and recreation, and travel. Russell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Ashland University and her Master of Arts in English from Marshall University.